Final Hearings Begin in Lincoln for Keystone XL Pipeline

LINCOLN, Neb. – After hearing from the public for over 30 hours throughout the summer, lawyers and business executives take center stage at the final Public Service Commission hearings on the Keystone XL pipeline.

TransCanada, the company that is looking to build the pipeline through Nebraska, was allowed the first witness of the day, Tony Palmer. Palmer, who would provide oversight of the pipeline as president of TransCanada Managing partner, was immediately greeted by sharp questioning from Dave Domina, the attorney representing landowners in the path of the pipeline.

Many of Domina’s questions were objected to and sustained by Karen Flowers, who is presiding over the hearing. Flowers repeatedly told Domina he will get to argue his case later and that he shouldn’t do it in his questioning.

Palmer testified that TransCanada will not seek tax breaks through the Nebraska Tax Advantage Act.

Palmer also said the company would only use the pipeline for crude oil, not water as some critics maintain.

In the afternoon, project manager for TransCanada, Paul Fuhrer, spoke on the digging and hydrologic logistics for the pipeline. Fuhrer provided a more technical testimony and the exchanges with Domina were substantially less testy than Palmer’s.

TransCanada has over a half dozen witnesses to put forth to the commission to argue their case. Following them will be the intervenors testimony, which will include some landowners that are in threat of losing their land.

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